I’m going to be cheating today. Kinda. I’ve signed up for a local news-satire site called ZaNews to try and put myself out there a little. Because at some stage, I’m hoping someone will pay me for some of this, so that I can claim to be a writer and look windswept and interesting at parties.
I have learnt something valuable while writing about politics this week. Don’t write about politics. South African politics is a richer source of stories than most other countries. We have great heroes and evil villains (often the same person). We have heart-warming triumphs and heart-breaking tragedies. But I’m not going to tell you any more of those stories. Not unless something really unusual pops up.
Next year is going to be an election year. We’re in for some sports. Our system doesn’t work like most democracies. We have, like most countries, two main parties. Or so we like to tell ourselves. The truth is that we have one main party, and another one that makes a very loud noise.
Art isn’t really a big deal round here. Sure, the big cities have a gallery or two, and like every country we do have a community of both artists and art lovers, but the vast majority of us, even those who are better educated and better off, are about as likely to pop into a gallery over the weekend as we are to attempt the world naked backward-running record. We don’t see anything fundamentally wrong with it, it just doesn’t occur to us. Except for last year. Last year, we all became rabid art critics for a month or two.